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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Porta Palazzo

I’ve been living the Torino for 7 months and 1 week. In all this time I have not dared to venture to one of the largest outdoor markets in all of Europe (it‘s in all the guide books), namely Porta Palazzo until last week. Many people have warned me not to go there alone, they’ve told me it can be dangerous, and the chance of getting pick pocketed is fairly high. I’ve been wanting to go especially after my friend here Laurie told me this is where she goes to find cilantro. We made plans to trek over to the market about a month ago but never did.

Federica, a friend of a friend, scoffed at me when I told her I was wary about the market's reputation. She led the way as we meandered my car through the narrow and crowded streets to the grand parking garage. She knows the area very well and led me through the farmers market, meat shops, fish market, cheese shops, ethnic groceries, clothes and shoe vendors, until we toured the entire grounds. We stopped at her favorite vendors which included a very friendly bread man, aka panettiere, who offered to take us horseback riding.

Here were the highlights of our market trip:

Sour cream
Corn on the cob
Cannolicchi (can-no-lee-key)- a rare razor clam from the Adriatic Sea
Live eels
Baby bak-choi
Quail eggs
Gang Kung or Ong Choi-an Asian green sometimes called swamp cabbage
Fresh olives
Loads and loads of porcini mushrooms

I had a wonderful time discovering this market on owe Federica a debt of gratitude. Deme and I plan to go at least once a month to stock up on ethnic goods. I bought half a kilo (1 pound) of fairly large shrimps, about 7 Euros worth, so that night we had a nice shrimp curry.

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At 4:27 PM, Anonymous LB said...

Mmmm, yum! That shrimp curry looks delicious. Glad you had fun on your trip to the palazzo.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Laurie said...

I'm glad you finally made it and can't wait to go with you next time!!! That curry.....YOW!!! It looks better than anything I have ever seen.....even here in NY!!! Will you make some of that for us very soon??? Please!!????

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Paz said...

Sounds like a market that has everything! Glad you had a successful shopping trip.

Your shrimp dish surely looks good!


At 8:55 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Think of Mom's fearlessness when you start to feel squeamish in a foreign marketplace. Keep a look on your face like you know exactly where you're going (even if you dont). Keep money in your shoes or in a front jeans pocket. Scowl a lot and speak Cantonese loudly and with confidence. Grunt.

You'll be fine. I love outdoor markets. We only have one good one here in Nashville, and it's mostly squash, tomatoes and onions here.

At 12:18 AM, Blogger traveller one said...

Ahh... the expat hunt for cilantro! I know it well... I bought a small plant in the Naschmarket in Vienna but it didn't survive the trip home in my suitcase :(
Markets are amazing places!

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Oh, my goodness - it still seems like you just left! I can't believe you've been gone 7 months already! You know, Pike Place has the same reputation, and we are never frightened of going there! :)

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Ale said...

deliZZZioso!!! buono buono!!!

hmmm i havn't done shrip in a while...

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Christine said...

That curry looks divine. And I just had roasted salmon fillets for my lunch. I feel boring!

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

If I keep discoverig new things and trying them, then I hope to feel not as far away from all that I am used to. If only I could find a few family members and friends at the market too.


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